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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:14 AM   #1
Cod3rror
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The convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems

First of all,

I did not know where to place this, so mods, I apologize if this in the wrong section.

Anyway back to my question...


What do you think of this trend?

iOS - OSX
Windows - Windows Phone
Android - Desktop Linux

Mobile phones are becoming very powerful, so it's only natural that they do more. The manufacturers seem to recognize this and make moves towards the unification of desktop and mobile world.

Of course desktops and performance systems will be there for enthusiasts but for an average user current hardware is far more than enough, the lowest end modern CPU will easily perform basic tasks.

So when the performances hits the "good enough" state, the next step is to maintain that performance and decrease the size, smartphones are the next step.

Mainframes -> Desktops -> Laptops -> Tablets? -> Phones

I imagine in 15 years most people will have just the phone and that's it. They'll dock to a dock that will have a monitor, mouse and a keyboard attached to it though the USB and the full desktop operating system will open up. Once they're done, they'll undock and everything they've done in the desktop mode will get suspended and/or synced... for example if they have Chrome open, all the tabs will sync and open in the mobile touch UI that will kick in once the phone is undocked.

Microsoft made the first and the biggest jump into this convergence with Windows 8, the execution isn't great(Metro) but the idea is, and there is a clear path.

Apple seems to be slower and more careful with this, slowly transitioning iOS features into OSX.

I'm surprised how Google hasn't made any moves towards this. Most average users nowadays use just their browser, check emails and write some document files. If Google creates a desktop mode in Android they could steal lots of Microsoft sales. They could release a Nexus phone with a dock just to give manufacturers a concept. I know Motorola has tried this idea, but it's not the same as Google themselves making the move.


What are your thoughts on this transition? Are you happy with the idea that soon you might have the power of desktop in your pocket? Or do you not like this unification and prefer things the way they are now?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:22 AM   #2
XboxMySocks
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I really like your imagination. And I'm excited for the further unification of OSX and iOS
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Last edited by dejo; Nov 21, 2012 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Quoted post deleted.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:27 AM   #3
Small White Car
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I think Apple has the right idea here. While the world you describe is coming it's not actually here yet and so Apple's '2 OS' plan seems to be the right approach for another couple of years.

Microsoft seems to be panicking about missing the boat on tablets and phones and is so terrified about missing the 'unified OS' trend that they're saying "screw it!" and jumping in early.

That's nice and all, but there's a such thing as being too early to the party. I went through the same thing in the video world in the transition from tape to solid state media. The companies that switched too early looked visionary, but they often lost my business to the companies that stuck with tapes until the timing was better to switch. (When the solid state systems became cheaper and more widely supported by other companies' products.)

I'm afraid Microsoft may be jumping too soon. And we don't yet know if Apple will jump too late. It's certainly possible. The next decade is going to be very exciting.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:29 AM   #4
From A Buick 8
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Also kind of like that idea, would also like to to see a more fluid link between the phone/pad and the iMac desktop. I'm thinking when you on on your home network that you can just drag and drop right from the phone spring board to your iMac desktop or vice versa.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:32 AM   #5
Small White Car
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Originally Posted by From A Buick 8 View Post
Also kind of like that idea, would also like to to see a more fluid link between the phone/pad and the iMac desktop. I'm thinking when you on on your home network that you can just drag and drop right from the phone spring board to your iMac desktop or vice versa.
You bring up the point that Apple may never actually need to have a unified OS if iCloud can act as a perfect handshake between them.

It's certainly nowhere near that point yet, but it is the wild card here. If iCloud grows quickly enough it could obviate Apple's need to ever combine the OSes into one.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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I'm not too keen on the idea of convergence. Desktops are different than mobile devices so the operating systems should reflect that. What works well on a desktop just doesn't translate to a mobile device (and vice versa). We are seeing first hand what a mobile OS looks and feels like on desktop computers with Windows 8 and by and large, most people don't like it.

I think that in the near future most people's needs will be met with the simplified experience of a mobile device and OS but for the working professional a true computing experience (which includes a powerful desktop computer and OS) is required. Just because the average person only uses their computer for media doesn't mean that there aren't working professionals that require a more complete computer and operating system.

The two operating systems and the computers that run them should be kept separate.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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Microsoft's "unification" has delivered 32GB tablets that lose 40% of the data to the OS.

Way too much legacy cruft in a desktop OS. Apple's strategy is more likely to continue to build up iOS and eschew legacy cruft. Eventually there will not be a need for unification as iOS will have nearly everything a person would need.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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For many lighter users having a phone that docked onto a monitor with KB and mouse would actually be a very good idea
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 04:17 PM   #9
Cod3rror
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Originally Posted by mrsir2009 View Post
For many lighter users having a phone that docked onto a monitor with KB and mouse would actually be a very good idea
Yep, and it could present a real problem for Microsoft.

I read that Android 5.0 is supposed to have a desktop mode.

Imagine how dangerous would be it for Microsoft if say, Samsung releases Galaxy S IV, with super hardware, that comes with a dock that a person can connect a monitor, mouse and keyboard to and do office tasks, send emails and browse the net.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cod3rror View Post
Yep, and it could present a real problem for Microsoft.

I read that Android 5.0 is supposed to have a desktop mode.

Imagine how dangerous would be it for Microsoft if say, Samsung releases Galaxy S IV, with super hardware, that comes with a dock that a person can connect a monitor, mouse and keyboard to and do office tasks, send emails and browse the net.
Beats paying 400$ for Windows
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